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Note: This premiere episode was introduced by John Wayne;
Gunsmoke is an American western television series based on the radio program of the same name. The series ran for 20 seasons, making it the longest-running western in television history. The first episode aired in the United States on September 10, 1955, and the final episode aired on March 31, 1975. All episodes were broadcast in the United States by CBS.
Gunsmoke is set in and around Dodge City, Kansas, in the post-Civil War era and centers on United States Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) as he enforces law and order in the city. In its original format the series also focuses on Dillon's friendship with three other citizens of Dodge City: Doctor Galen "Doc" Adams (Milburn Stone), the town's physician; Kitty Russell (Amanda Blake), owner of the Long Branch Saloon; and Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver), Dillon's assistant. In the eighth season (1962–63) a fifth regular character was added to the cast: blacksmith Quint Asper (Burt Reynolds), who remained until the end of the tenth season (1964–65). Dennis Weaver left the series during the ninth season (1963–64) and was replaced by Ken Curtis as Festus Haggen, who became deputy to Marshall Dillon.
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